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THURSDAY      December 2, 1999     SECTION TWO      vol 10, no. 229

To print out entire text of today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE

"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!"

    In his column today, Pat Ludwa turns to the meaning of Advent in preparing for the Christ Child - for the man the prophet Isaias called Emmanuel. But Pat asks if we are looking for an earthly concept of a king who would bowl His enemies over, or one Who is meek and humble of heart and asks the same of His loyal subjects. With all the glitz of Christmas that began shortly after Halloween and will all disappear December 26th as fast as it can be put away, we must remember that to place our hopes in a king by earthly standards will leave us sorely disappointed, but to place our total trust in a King by Heavenly standards then we truly know the meaning of Emmanuel and will prepare accordingly. The question is left up to us. For Pat's column Which Emmanuel are we looking for?, click on VIEW FROM THE PEW

Which Emmanuel are you looking for?


    Today is the First Thursday of Advent while tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of the Jesuit Missionary Priest Saint Francis Xavier who brought the Faith to the Far East and India. For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Thursday, December 2, 1999

Friday, December 3, 1999

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



Sends Delegation to Constantinople on Feast of St. Andrew

    ISTANBUL, NOV 30 (ZENIT).- Following a long-standing tradition, the ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople celebrated the feast of its patron, the apostle Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, in Fanar, near Istanbul. The Holy See sent Cardinal Edward Cassidy, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as its representative.

    Byzantine tradition venerates St. Andrew as "protocletos," the first disciple called by Jesus. As the Gospel narrative relates, Andrew and John were disciples of John the Baptist until they were called by Jesus. It was Andrew who went to his brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah."

    The Vatican delegation confirmed the fraternal ties between Catholics and Orthodox by its attendance at this feast, celebrated with great solemnity by the Oriental Churches, especially the ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. German Bishop Walter Kasper, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, traveled to Turkey with Cardinal Cassidy.

    In his message to Bartholomew I, the ecumenical Patriarch, John Paul II confirmed "our will to make progress on the road of dialogue and fraternal relations to reach full communion, which, at the end of the century and the dawn of the new Christian millennium, is an increasingly urgent necessity, a more ardent desire to heal our painful wounds, which are openly opposed to Christ's will and a cause of scandal to the world."

    After entrusting the conversion of the sins committed against the unity desired by God to the intercession of the apostles Andrew, Peter, and Paul, the Pope confirmed that this intention is one of the most important objectives of the Jubilee and assured the Orthodox that "the Catholic Church is prepared to do everything possible to remove the obstacles, consolidate the dialogue and collaborate in every initiative directed toward advancing in full communion of faith and witness."

    At the end of the message, the Holy Father expressed his joy at the thought of next January 18, when representatives of the ecumenical Patriarchate will be by his side during the ceremony to open the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.

    The Patriarchate of Constantinople will return the Vatican delegation's visit by sending representatives to Rome for the feast of the apostles Ss. Peter and Paul on June 29. ZE99113003


Addresses Portugal's Secularization with Country's Bishops

    VATICAN CITY, NOV 30 (ZENIT).- On the occasion of the visit of the Portuguese Bishops "ad limina apostolorum," the Pope confirmed that Francisco and Jacinta Marto, the two shepherd children who, along with their cousin Lucia, had repeated visions of the Blessed Virgin in Fatima in 1917, will soon be beatified. Lucia, the eldest of the three, who today is in her 90s, is a cloistered nun in a Carmelite convent in Coimbra.

    The decree of beatification of the two children, who died in 1919 and 1920, was promulgated in the Holy Father's presence in June of this year, by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, following a miracle due to their intercession.

    After meeting with the Pope a few days ago, Bishop Serafim de Sousa Ferreira e Silva of Leiria-Fatima, explained to a Catholic radio station in Portugal that the Holy Father hopes to travel to Fatima on May 13, 2000 to beatify the two children. The Vatican Press Office has not yet confirmed this visit. The last time John Paul II was in Fatima was on October 13, 1982, just over a year after the attempt on his life in St. Peter's Square. His pilgrimage to Fatima was in thanksgiving for the Virgin Mary's protection.

    The whole of Portugal is overjoyed at the prospect of these beatifications, as Bishop Antonio Baltasar Marcelino, on behalf of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference told the Holy Father. The Bishop also shared with the Pope the tremendous pastoral challenges the Church faces in Portugal, given the frontal attacks on the family as an institution, and on life at all its stages. Bishop Marcelino referred to "the growing secularism in public life," especially promoted by the media.


    During his address, which was focused on spiritual preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, the Holy Father mentioned the results of a poll on participation in Sunday Mass carried out by the Portuguese bishops in 1991. The number of practicing Catholics in Portugal amounts to no more than 26% of the population, according to this study. According to John Paul II, this is "significant data that [reveals] the immense pastoral task that must be undertaken."

    John Paul II counseled the bishops that they must "overcome the all-too-common tendency that rejects every kind of saving mediation and presents the individual sinner as relating directly to God, because salvation comes to us, in the first place, through the mediation of the historical humanity of Jesus and, after the resurrection, through his Mystical Body, which is the Church."

Return to the Sacraments

    The Pope confirmed that the sacrament of Penance or Confession is the "ordinary way to receive pardon and the remission of sins committed after baptism," reminding his listeners that it would be foolish, as well as presumptuous, to attempt to do without the instruments of grace and salvation that the Lord has arranged.

    Thus, quoting the papal bull "Incarnationis Mysterium" convoking the Holy Year, the Holy Father expressed the hope that "one of the fruits of the Great Jubilee of 2000 will be a generalized return to the practice of sacramental confession on the part of Catholic faithful."

    With reference to attendance at Sunday Mass, John Paul II encouraged the Portuguese bishops to do everything possible "with delicate pastoral pedagogy," so that this Holy Year will be "an appropriate time to bring non-practicing Catholics, or those of 'occasional' practice or with 'ulterior motives' " (such as simply to obtain the benefit of an indulgence) to a "stable commitment to weekly participation" in the Mass.

    John Paul II counseled the bishops to avoid two pitfalls: "activism, where the best pastoral plans and committed lives come to nothing" and "secularism, where God's voice is not heard or given space" among the people. ZE99113002


    LONDON ( - Queen Elizabeth on Wednesday approved a law ending three decades of direct rule of Northern Ireland by Britain.

    In a formal ceremony, the queen approved the legislation that was passed by parliament on Tuesday, setting the transfer of power for midnight. Protestant unionists and Catholic republicans agreed to set up a partnership government on Monday to run the province, the first time the bitterly divided parties will have shared power. Approval was first passed in the House of Lord on Tuesday and then in the House of Commons later that day, quickly setting up the transfer of power.


    DILI, East Timor ( - Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta returned to East Timor on Wednesday after 24 years of exile to the cheers of thousands who turned out to greet him.

    The resistance leader, who won the Peace Prize along with the Bishop Carlos Belo of Dili in 1997, left the former Portuguese colony in 1975, just days before invasion by neighboring Indonesia. Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, invaded mainly Catholic East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following year in a move not recognized by the United Nations. In August, the region held a Jakarta-proposed referendum to allow Timorese to choose either autonomy within Indonesia or full independence. After the pro-independence results were revealed, pro-Indonesia militias, armed and backed by Indonesia's military, went on a rampage, killing hundreds and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee the former Portuguese colony.

    "My first words are words of gratitude, words of thanks, of sincere thanks to each and all of you," Ramos-Horta said, addressing a crowd of 5,000 from the governor's palace. "The people of East Timor will rebuild this country from ashes of destruction. I did not come today, to arrive here after 24 years with my colleagues ... to teach a lesson to anyone because the true heroes are those who stayed behind, they are the ones who suffered, they are the ones who were tortured ... they are the ones who were killed."

    Ramos-Horta also called for reconciliation with the perpetrators of the violence. "We must also forgive, so we require courage, there can no longer be enemies within the East Timorese families," he said. "Too many lives have been lost, we pray to you, our great Catholic Church ... in the darkest hours of our history it was this Church that stood alongside the people of East Timor."

For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and the features, dossiers and Daily Dispatches at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

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December 2, 1999 volume 10, no. 229  DAILY CATHOLIC